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Local Insider Tips

Gumbayngirr Cultural Sites

The Gumbayngirr people are known as the sharing people due to the extensive food resources of the coast, estuaries and mountain ranges of the region. Here, in the essence of his people, highly respected local Indigenous Elder and National Parks and Wildlife Service Discovery Ranger, Mark Flanders shares the places that he grew up in that hold a strong physical and spiritual connection.

1. Coffs Creek Walk. I lived here in my youth, so the area is entrenched in my upbringing. The visual places and fragrant smells enlighten my senses each time I visit and the abundance of bush foods is overwhelming.

2. Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve is another place of Indigenous significance.  Enjoy a leisurely walk over the Island to watch the whales as they travel past or for something really unique, visit at night to hear the eerie calls of the birds.

3. Bongil Bongil National Park’s old growth littoral rainforest makes it a perfect spot to visit while still being on the coast. The name itself refers to the abundance of food in the area.

4. Woolgoolga Lake, 20 minutes north of Coffs Harbour is a beautiful and peaceful place to graze on some bush foods.  Also look out for the Flying Fox’s that call this area home.

5. Arrawarra Fish traps. Further north, make sure you check out the ancient stone Fish traps at low tide and imagine the Gumbayngirr people using them as they have done for thousands of years.